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The Forsaken: From the Great Depression to the Gulags: Hope and Betrayal in Stalin's Russia

Tim Tzouliadis

4 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, History

An extraordinary work of history that uncovers the story of the Americans lost in Stalinist Russia.

Of all the great movements of population to and from the United States, the least heralded is the migration, in the depths of the Depression of the nineteen-thirties, of thousands of men, women and children to Stalin s Russia. Where capitalism had failed them, Communism promised dignity for the working man, racial equality, and honest labour. What in fact awaited them, however, was the most monstrous betrayal.

In a remarkable piece of historical investigation that spans seven decades of political change, Tim Tzouliadis follows these thousands from Pittsburgh and Detroit and Los Angeles, as their numbers dwindle on their epic and terrible journey. Through official records, memoirs, newspaper reports and interviews he searches the most closely guarded archive in modern history to reconstruct their story - one of honesty, vitality and idealism brought up against the brutal machinery of repression. His account exposes the self-serving American diplomats who refused their countrymen sanctuary, it analyses international relations and economic causes but also finds space to retrieve individual acts of kindness and self-sacrifice.

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Praise for The Forsaken: From the Great Depression to the Gulags: Hope and Betrayal in Stalin's Russia

  • ** 'In this spellbinding book, Tim Tzouliadis brings to life an aspect of Stalin's Terror that had been almost completely forgotten - Roger Cox, THE SCOTSMAN

  • ** 'In THE FORSAKEN, Tim Tzouliadi s' clear, strong narrative discloses the terrible fates which awaited those who wandered into the Soviet sphere - John Lloyd, FINANCIAL TIMES

  • ** 'This is an extremely impressive book. [Tzouliadis] has done phenomenal research...the writing is crisp and fluent, and the ordinary lives of these Americans come vividly to life; but at the same time the larger political framework is always present, lucidly outlined - Noel Malcolm, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

  • ** 'A fine narrative, full of ironic, sometimes black humour; it is thoroughly researched, sympathetic to the victims and merciless to the perpetrators, and sketches in the now only too familiar background of lies and terror with deadly precision. - LITERARY REVIEW

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Tim Tzouliadis

Tim Tzouliadis is a writer and filmmaker. Born in 1968, he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University, and went on to pursue a career in television current affairs and documentary-making for Channel 4, BBC2, NBC Television and National Geographic Television. He lives in London.

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